News Pouch: 11 September 2017





OIE reports on ongoing outbreaks



CIDRAP Flu Scan 8 Sept

  • Study finds no link between flu vaccination, venous thromboembolism
  • H7N9 avian flu hospitalizes man from China's Hunan province
  • H5N8 strikes more birds in Nigeria and South Africa

Bird flu continues unabated in S. Africa
Vanguard, 10 Sept
The recent outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 virus have sent shock waves through the poultry industry in South Africa after it was ...

Risk of venous thromboembolism following influenza vaccination in adults aged 50 years and older in the Vaccine Safety Datalink
Vaccine, 6 Sept
Influenza-like illness and inflammation are known risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). However, few studies have characterized the risk of VTE following influenza vaccination.

Hong Kong: CHP notified of human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan
CHP, 8 Sept
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 8) monitoring a notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) was recorded from September 1 to 7 in Hunan, and strongly urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

Altered Virulence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 Reassortant Viruses in Mammalian Models
Virulence, 5 Sept
Recently identified highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 viruses (clade are relatively low to moderately pathogenic in mammalian hosts compared to HPAI H5N1 viruses. In this study, we generated reassortant viruses comprised of A/MD/Korea/W452/2014(H5N8) with substitution of individual genes from A/EM/Korea/W149/2006(H5N1) to understand the contribution of each viral gene to virulence in mammals.



Ebola Vaccination: Study Assessing Immune Response Fuels Strategies for Improved Vaccine Development
Technology Networks, 8 Sept
The latest outbreaks of emerging, dangerous pathogens, such as Ebola, MERS-CoV or Zika, emphasise the importance of the rapid development of effective ...




Bio-Techne (TECH) Releases a Highly Sensitive and Specific Serological Assay to Detect Zika Virus Infections BioSpace, 7 Sept
R&D Systems, a Bio-Techne brand, announced today the release of a new rapid, solid phase, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay designed to measure anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in human serum. A unique feature of this assay is that, prior to performing the test, samples are pre-treated with a proprietary reagent designed to minimize any interfering proteins present in the serum which could produce a false positive result.

Can Zika Be A Treatment For Brain Cancer?
Forbes, 9 Sept
While Zika has been a public enemy over the past two years, there may be ways to get Zika to work for good. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg. Is Zika ...

Aerial Spraying to Control Mosquitoes After Harvey
NBC New York, 9 Sept
Harvey's rains flooded the region. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including those that carry the West Nile and Zika viruses ...





Kedah Health Department ready to face MERS-CoV
The Sun Daily, 8 Sept
ALOR STAR: The Kedah Health Department is on standby to prevent and control the transmission of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) by haj ...


Nigeria Cholera Outbreak Threatens More Than 1 Million People in Refugee Camps
Reuters, 8 Sept
At least 1.4 million people uprooted by Boko Haram's insurgency in northeast Nigeria are living in 'cholera hotspots', prey to an outbreak of the deadly disease which is sweeping through camps for the displaced, the UN said on Thursday.

Blame the Saudis for Yemen's cholera outbreak – they are targeting the people
The Guardian, 2 Aug
UN agencies, respected media outlets – including the BBC and New York Times – and influential medical journals such as the Lancet all argue that two years of conflict have created conditions conducive to a cholera outbreak. This narrative, while true, tells only part of the story. It fails to account for the possibility that one party might be more culpable for the outbreak and the other more affected by it.

Hurricane Harvey First Responder Gets Flesh-eating Bacteria from Texas Storm Water
Time, 7 Sept
A man in Texas says he got infected with flesh-eating bacteria while helping his neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last week. J.R. Atkins, of Missouri City, Texas, wrote in a Facebook post that he was hospitalized after what he thought was a small bug bite turned into swelling and some numbness in his hand. He had been kayaking through flooded streets to check on his neighbors, Atkins wrote, and noticed the bite when he returned home.

Texas Republicans Helped Chemical Plant That Exploded Lobby Against Safety Rules
International Business Times, 31 Aug
The effort to stop the chemical plant safety rules was backed by top Texas Republican lawmakers, who have received big campaign donations ...


With Harvey and Now Irma, Federal Funds and FEMA Are Put to the Test
NPR, 8 Sept
The disaster relief bill moving through Congress can't come too soon for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials confirm FEMA's cash box could be empty as early as this weekend, right around the time that Hurricane Irma is scheduled to slam into southern Florida, while southeast Texas and Louisiana are still drying out from Hurricane Harvey.

At least 61 killed as Mexico hit by strongest earthquake in decades
Globe and Mail, 6 Sept
At least 61 people died when the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in over eight decades tore through buildings and forced mass evacuations in the poor southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, triggering alerts as far away as Southeast Asia.


Extreme Rain, Flooding, and Health
Lancet, 9 Sept
The unprecedented volume of rain and floods during the past few weeks is difficult to comprehend. More than 1400 people in south Asia are dead and tens of millions more have been affected by extreme monsoon rains. The worst flooding in 100 years has left one third of Bangladesh submerged. In Nepal, almost half a million people are food insecure. More than 7000 schools have been damaged in India at the height of the exam season, with the result that many children will not complete their education.


Global Open Consultation for Innovative Personal Protective Equipment 6 - 28 Sept
WHO, 6-28 Sept
Personal protective equipment is worn as part of an overall infection prevention strategy to protect the health worker from acquiring infection while providing services to patients infected Ebola and related haemorrhagic viruses. A preliminary published report by WHO stated that during the 2014-2016 Ebola virus epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, health workers were between 21 and 32 times more likely to be infected with Ebola than people in the general adult population.